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Arabic Studies in Ifrane, Morocco

Arabic Studies in Ifrane, Morocco
The Arabic Summer Institute at Al-Akhawayn University is designed for students who wish to experience living and studying in an Arab country and provides students the opportunity to study the Arabic language in context.
Ifrane, Morocco
Language of Instruction: 
Academic Disciplines: 
African/African American Studies
Program Type: 
Summer Non-Faculty Led
Fulfills KU Core 4.2
Open to non-KU Students
  • Spend eight weeks in Morocco studying Arabic language and culture
  • Take classes from Moroccan instructors
  • Program includes weekend excursions and cultural activities.
Program Summary: 

From the Sahara desert oasis of Marrakesh to the teeming metropolis of Casablanca and the elegant royal cities of Rabat and Fez, Morocco has long been a major political, commercial and cultural crossroad in the history of North Africa and the Mediterranean region. A truly diverse society, Morocco is a point of convergence for African, Arab and Mediterranean cultures. Today, this rich and diverse history is evident in the peaceful mingling of different ethnicities, faiths, dialects and cuisine. Situated in the heart of a region known for its beautiful forests, mountains, lakes and waterfalls, Ifrane is located just 60 kilometers from the historically rich imperial city of Fez, one of the most prestigious cities of the Muslim world and the capital of the first Arab dynasty of Morocco.


Al-Akhawayn University is a young, modern institution inaugurated by His Majesty King Hassan II of Morocco in 1995. Morocco’s first English-language university, Al-Akhawayn takes an innovative approach to education, combining the humanistic tradition of Arab and Mediterranean cultures with the structure of the American university system. Visiting American students experience a new and different academic culture combined with the comforting familiarity of their home university. The University also offers intense faculty-student interaction, with small classes and a curriculum characterized by an interdisciplinary spirit.

Academic facilities at Al-Akhawayn include the largest computer network in all of Africa, one of the finest libraries in Morocco, several research centers and a state-of-the-art language laboratory. Student service facilities are just as modern and well-appointed, with pleasant student housing in 16 residence halls, a student center, health services center, counseling services, career services, and an excellent sports center. Student life is interesting and dynamic, with international students comprising nearly 10% of the student body and increasing each year.

Academic Information: 

The Arabic Summer Institute at Al-Akhawayn University is designed for students who wish to experience living and studying in an Arab country as part of their education for a relatively short period of time. It provides students the opportunity to study the Arabic language in context as well as other subjects pertaining to Islamic and North African Studies.  Check out the host university's website at http://www.alakhawayn.ma/.

Courses Offered


• Track 1 (Language only): Six to ten hours of credit are granted by the University of Kansas upon successful completion of the program.

• Track 2 (Language and Culture): Nine to thirteen hours of credit are granted by the University of Kansas upon successful completion of the program.

Students in Track 1 will receive credit for two of the following courses, based on their language level. Students in Track 2 will receive credit for three of the following courses, based on their language level:

Elementary Arabic I  KU ARAB 110 Five credits. For the novice speaker who wishes to learn Arabic in a culturally immersed context.

Elementary Arabic II  KU ARAB 120 Five credits. A continuation of Elementary Arabic I.

Intermediate Arabic I  KU ARAB 210 Three credits. For the student who has completed one year of Arabic language study who wishes to hone and further their skills in an Arabic-speaking environment.

Intermediate Arabic II  KU ARAB 220 Three credits. A continuation of Intermediate Arabic I.

Advanced Arabic I  KU ARAB 310 Three credits. For the student who has completed two years of Arabic language study.

Advanced Arabic II  KU ARAB 320 Three credits. A continuation of Advanced Arabic I.

North African Studies  KU AAAS 543 Three credits. No prior knowledge of Arabic is required. For the student with little or no prior knowledge of North African Islamic culture. Students will be able to choose from the following courses: History of the Arab World, Arab Society, Islamic Civilization, Issues in Contemporary North Africa, and North African Literature.  Note: The North African Studies courses are only open to students who elect Track 2 for an additional cost.


Student housing at Al-Akhawayn University is included in the cost of the program. Men’s and women’s dormitories are located on the university campus.

Life Abroad: 

Weekend Trips

The program includes two major trips to the Tafilalt Area (Errachidia, Erfoud, and Merzouga) and to Marrakesh. Students are required to use the vocabulary learned in the classroom when interacting with native speakers. Transportation, hotel, and all meals during the trips are included in the program cost. Optional trips can be arranged to neighboring cities such as Fez and Meknes.


The clubs are an opportunity for students to practice and learn new vocabulary specific to the goals of each club. Students are required to participate in at least one of the following clubs: Literature and Theater, Music and Dance, Calligraphy, Cooking.


Meals at the university’s cafeteria are included in the program fee. Couscous, tagine stew, and many other culinary delights will make you yearn for a Moroccan restaurant when you return to Lawrence.


Open to students in good academic standing from any accredited U.S. college or university. At least one semester of college-level Arabic language or the equivalent is recommended. Minimum 2.50 GPA required. (Exceptions considered only after submission of a petition.)

Further Reading: 

FLAS Summer Fellowships

Since this program meets all Department of Education requirements for intensive summer language programs, eligible students may use FLAS Summer Fellowships. For more information, please visit www.flas.ku.edu.

Al Akhawayn University Summer Program Scholarship

Please visit the following link to review the requirements and deadline for this scholarship: Morocco Scholarship Application

Program Faculty: 

Dr. Amal El Haimeur is an Assistant Teaching Professor of Arabic and the coordinator of Arabic language program at the University of Kansas. She serves as the director of the Arabic Summer Institute at Al-Akhawayn University in Morocco. She has extensive experience in foreign and second language instruction. She holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and specializes in Arabic as a heritage language, second language acquisition, and teaching Arabic as a foreign language. She is also interested in language contact in North Africa.


Summer 2022 programs now accepting applications !

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